Bryan Bickell has assist in first game since MS diagnosis

Carolina Hurricanes' Bryan Bickell, left, is working his way back to the NHL after being diagnosed with MS in November. (Kenneth Armstrong/CP)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Bryan Bickell had an assist in his first hockey game since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Playing for the Carolina Hurricanes‘ AHL affiliate in Charlotte, Bickell logged about 10 minutes of ice time while playing on the fourth line in the Checkers’ 6-1 victory over Cleveland on Saturday night.

Bickell had the primary assist on Kris Newbury’s goal that made it 5-0 just 2:51 into the second period.

He called it "a rough one to jump back in and play at a high pace."

Bickell, 30, won three Stanley Cups with Chicago before coming to Carolina in the off-season. He had been out since October, was diagnosed with MS in November and began practicing last month with the Hurricanes, who formally assigned him to Charlotte on Friday.

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